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Simplifying Complex Zoning Code


Learn drafting, illustration and presentation techniques that will improve how zoning codes are understood by all affected stakeholders.

Zoning is a complicated topic. Zoning codes are encyclopedic on coverage, and are governed by a complex web of state and federal statutes and constitutional principles. In addition, zoning codes are used by a variety of stakeholders, from attorneys and engineers representing applicants, to elected official and appointed planning commissioners, to the general public. Given this array of legal principles and users, what can we do to make zoning codes easier to use and understand? Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques to simplify zoning codes, including better writing, graphics, and technology. This topic will provide drafting, illustration and presentation techniques that will improve how zoning codes are understood by all affected stakeholders.



Mark White

Mark White

White & Smith, LLC

  • Partner in the office of White & Smith, LLC
  • Practice emphasizes land use and zoning, focusing on code development and drafting
  • Completed over 150 development code updates, zoning regulations, and comprehensive plan/smart growth implementation projects for local governments in over 36 states
  • Conducts regular seminars and workshops on numerous zoning and development codes, from comprehensive rewrites to specific types of updates (such as sign codes)
  • Author of numerous publications related to codes, zoning and urban planning
  • His articles have appeared in a variety of notable publications, including the American Planning Association’s Planning Advisory Service, the American Bar Association’s Urban Lawyer, the International Municipal Attorneys Association’s Municipal Lawyer, and the United Kingdom’s Transport Policy
  • Member of Missouri Bar, American Institute of Certified Planners, Congress for the New Urbanism, and International Municipal Lawyers Assocation
  • J.D. and M.A. degrees of urban and regional planning, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 816-221-8700

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